CP+ Tradeshow Tidbits: Japan-only swag, a quirky OM-D concept, a 40ft selfie stick and more!


posted Sunday, March 3, 2019 at 7:06 AM EDT


As we approach the end of another CP+ camera expo in Yokohama, Japan, I thought it would be fun to share a few of the unique items, concept cameras and other products that I happened to stumble upon while roaming the show floor. Among hands-on reports, gallery images and new product announcements, here's a chance to uncover a few interesting tidbits and other products that may have gotten lost in the shuffle...

OMG! It's a new Olympus OM-D?! Well, not quite...

Olympus has developed an all-new OM-D camera, but sadly, it's not the E-M5 Mark III. Instead, it's yet another CP+ exclusive concept camera, dubbed the "OM-D BrassEdition." Olympus seemingly has a history of doing one-off concept camera designs for CP+, and last year, in particular, they developed three different concept designs -- some more practical than others. There was a sleek carbon fiber-clad set of OM-D cameras and Zuiko Pro lenses, but then there were these rather off-the-wall Steampunk and "Aged" concept cameras that were far more for decoration than for actual shooting. 


This OM-D BrassEdition camera pays homage to earlier OM-series film cameras, sporting a very classic, retro design with worn brass edges detailing and scuffs that simulate years of wear and tear. It's also notable that this concept camera isn't just a "brassed" version of an existing OM-D camera, but rather something all-new, particularly when it comes to controls and dials. While there are similar controls and buttons as on standard OM-D cameras, this concept model has the Mode Dial over on the left side of the EVF and placed on top of a large exposure compensation dial. Also, for the first time, there's a dedicated ISO sensitivity dial, something we've not yet see on past OM-D bodies. Perhaps this control scheme will come to a future OM-D camera?


Personally, I think this camera looks pretty neat, but sadly, much like the 2018's concept cameras, there are no plans to actually sell this OM-D BrassEdition camera to the public. (A little bit of a tease, in our eyes?)

Canon's prototype "Multifunctional Telephoto Camera" concept

Tucked away on the side of Canon's booth were a number of concept cameras, and one of which that caught my eye was this "Multifunctional Telephoto Camera" device. Looking like an ultra-modern redesign of a scope eyepiece used for something like birding, the Multifunctional Telephoto Camera has no screen, very few buttons and offers a 100-400mm-equivalent zooming range. What's more, there's wireless connectivity in the device for easy mobile share and remote control, as well as a fold-away Apple Lightning connector so you can directly attach your smartphone.

The properly-sized prototype models were kept under glass, while there was a larger-yet-working prototype that you can try out (see below)

Some of the demo imagery Canon was displaying alongside this concept showed wildlife shots and sports photos, so my initial thought was that this was just a really clever future concept of a superzoom camera, perhaps. But after speaking with a Canon representative, what they are actually doing is creating a new digital scope-type camera for viewing sporting events, concerts and other events where you're sitting far away. The telephoto camera lets you zoom in close to the action, and also record images (and presumably video too) all with a device that's significantly less bulky than a traditional superzoom camera. Canon was also quick to mention the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which makes perfect sense for a camera like this.


This camera is very much still in the concept stage; they are still determining what kind of sensor to use for the final product, but Canon did mention that it would be similar to a compact camera (something like a 1/1.7-1/2.3-inch sensor rather than a 1-inch-type sensor).

I think this is a rather neat idea, though I'm obviously really curious what the image quality would be like. What do you think? Would you use a camera like this?

Indulge your inner fanboy with these Japan-only camera accessories

Are you a big Nikon fan? Want to outfit your camera setup as well as yourself with some sleek Nikon-branded swag? Well, Nikon Japan has just the thing. I'd come across these Japan-only accessories before, but this year, the selection seemed more extensive and varied than before. Nikon Japan has produced a number of branded accessory items, ranging from the more typical camera straps and shoulder bags, but they've also branched out with their own tripod and ballhead, co-branded hiking backpacks with French outdoor manufacturer Millet, and even a Nikon-branded jacket and leather card wallets and filter holders.

Nikon's array of Japan-only accessories

Now, for you Pentaxians, I already covered the cool and perhaps excessive KP Custom cameras, but if you'd like some swag to go with your Pentax, Ricoh or Theta cameras, Ricoh has partnered with hat company New Era and created a variety of branded ballcaps. 


Want one? Well, sadly these aren't for sale at all, Japan or otherwise, which is rather strange given that they are all on-display at Ricoh's booth. Maybe they'll be for sale one day...


A bigger BiRod: Telescoping aerial camera support reaches new heights

I came across BiRod at last year's CP+ show. This manufacturer of telescoping camera support rods caught my eye not only literally since they are giant poles sticking way up beyond the surrounding booths, but also because they let you capture shots from very unique angles -- and without requiring something like a drone, which not be possible at all depending on your location.


Well, I happened to walk by their booth once more this year, and sure enough, there were these gigantic poles reaching up into the ceiling, well beyond the height of the other companies' booths. But one BiRod pole seems just a bit longer than what I remember from last year, and sure enough, they've made a new version, one that's even longer than last year's 7-meter (~23ft) model. They now have one that reaches up to 12 meters, or almost 40 feet! A bird's eye view indeed!

A BiRod rep holding one of their smaller, non-12-meter-tall versions.

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Nikon's array of Japan-only accessories